Progress (March - April 2021)
Training for camp-in-charge officials continued through the month of March, as part of the interagency joint Capacity Sharing Initiative in collaboration with IOM and the Refugee Relief and Repatriation Commissioner (RRRC). The training, conducted by the sector leads, included humanitarian principles and refugee protection, operational standards, principles and overviews of the main sectors including WASH, Shelter and Non-Food Items,
Health, Protection, and Site Management. 38 camp-in-charge and assistant camp-in-charge officials undertook the training. Furthermore, 60 camp-in-charge staff took part in Nutrition and Mental Health and Psychosocial Support training.
Traffic accidents remain a concern in and around refugee camps, considering high numbers and prevalence of child victims. UNHCR, in collaboration with site development teams, have assessed and identified new locations for installation of speed bumps in the camps to enhance road safety, of which 40 were identified in March. The joint UNHCR/WFP/IOM Site Maintenance and Engineering Project (SMEP) have started constructing the new speed bumps.
Together with WFP, a drainage cleaning pilot was initiated in Camp 3. So far, over 150 laborers have cleaned 1,000 meters of drains, segregating the waste that can be recycled. UNHCR met with the Camp-in-Charge official to discuss challenges with dumping sites, and an agreement was reached to allocate a temporary site. UNHCR and WFP are preparing similar plans for other camps.
In preparation for the monsoon season, UNHCR started the distribution of tie down kits, consisting of rope and wire to reinforce shelters. In April, nearly 40,000 households received kits and distribution is ongoing. Regular repair and maintenance of shelters takes place as required throughout the year and is ramped up in advance of the monsoon season.
When the fire on 22 March ripped through Camps 8W, 8E and 9, 370 trained refugee Safety Unit Volunteers from across the camps (including those not affected) were mobilized to help extinguish the fire as well as to create fire breaks where possible, using equipment provided by UNHCR. Overall, more than a thousand refugee volunteers contributed to extinguishing the fire and rescuing the victims. Two three-wheeler firefighting vehicles were mobilized by UNHCR.
As part of the fire response, UNHCR handed over 3,000 blankets, 20,000 solar lamps, 7,000 kitchen sets and 7,000 mosquito nets to IOM for distribution. UNHCR also provided 6,350 female hygiene kits through various partners. Over 12,000 pieces of clothing was handed over to the Danish Refugee Council for distribution.
In UNHCR-managed camps, site management partners and safety unit volunteers have been on increased alert and are actively conducting outreach, follow-up and coordination on fire response preparedness and fire mitigation. Prior to the COVID-19 lockdown, this included conducting drills in collaboration with camp-in-charge officials and law enforcement. Checking and refilling of fire extinguishers is conducted regularly.
- The exclusion of site management activities during the lockdown in April has impacted refugee complaints and referral mechanisms as feedback and response to refugees has been delayed, in particular in relation to the need for shelter materials and general maintenance of shelters for the upcoming monsoon.
UNHCR will continue to work with refugee volunteers to sensitize the community to prepare their shelters for the upcoming monsoon seasons, including the use of tie down kits, and information on emergency response.
UNHCR is working with the camp authorities on monsoon preparedness, including clarification of the different partners roles, and identifying training needed.
The daily incident reporting system has been initiated to ensure timely reporting on monsoon related emergencies